Are you fond of innovation and entrepreneurship? Have you a secret innovative project that you are dying to spring-up? Will you endorse soon responsibilities to lead a major innovation initiative within your company?
Yossi Feinberg, Faculty director at Stanford, was speaking for you yesterday, as he was presenting brillantly the Stanford Ignite program for Innovators and Entrepreneurs, conducted in association with Ecole Polytechnique.
Following are a few hints that you’d like to catch before you rush to register to this involving program (application deadline is June 14):
- Stanford Ignite is based on a rigorous academic program delivered by the same Stanford GSB faculty who teach in the MBA Program with a view to make it the most actionnable by entrepreneurs;
- Stanford Ignite combines core business classes with applied skills development, through hands-on team project venture and business plan development around new product/service: adhoc projects will actually be set-up and processed by the students during the program. “You re going to learn how to fish” tells us Yossi; “how to evaluate, formulate, develop, commercialize a project: you will review all the necessary tools which may further be applied to your own project; many projects continue beyond the program, finding serious fundings (convincing statistic, 20% of graduates got fundings)”;
- Following 7 years of success, Stanford Ignite is now launching in Paris; the program will involve Stanfords teachers (distance learning technology) and bring-in mentors locally (yet to be defined) to follow-up on students projects;
- Timeline is stretched: the program runs from Sept 19 to Nov 17, mainly on Thursday and Friday evenings, and on Week-Ends; don’t expect to ease off during this period: workload arises to 100 contacts hours (classes, pitches) and 100 hours in projects preparation;
- Participation fees are around 7000 € (DIF agreement will be made possible). The program delivers a Certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship;
- It’s a “high touch small program” which will select 40 people: Yossi looks for high-potential working professionals “who are really good at what they do, not necessarily with an extensive experience, but thinking of innovation and venture, and who will learn a lot from this experience”;
- To sump-up, key benefits are multiple: academic (learn the language of major business disciplines), practical (turn idea into viable project), personal (communication skills, how to sell a project), professional (X and Stanford communities, Ignite network).
Are you thinking of starting your own project? Before you get into the hard work, it’s wise to take some tips saving you from common pitfalls. As Yossi puts it, “if you’re going to fail in the program, you won’t fail in real life!”